For years we at SEJ have been proponents of listing web site directories as a form of traditional organic link building. And over these years, many web directories have come and gone. As linking becomes less geared towards brute-force anchor text overload and more takes a natural approach, it can sometimes be very easy to overlook the fundamentals.
There are three directories that I believe are the building blocks of developing a strong foundation in a site’s initial backlinks, and these are The best of the web (affectionately known in the SEO industry as BOTW – “bot-wa”), Yahoo Directory (how long is this going to be?), and DMOZ (someone’s steering the ship?) .
One thing that I love about BOTW is that I know the people behind it are really solid, stand their ground and from a yearbook guidelines standpoint, stick to their guns and end up reject almost as many sites as they approve. What this means to me is that I am effectively reassured that the pages linking to my site will not be littered with spam and dodgy backlinks in the future. The Best of the Web team keeps things up-to-date and uses its paid review service to employ staff who place great importance on quality assurance.
Unlike Yahoo and DMOZ, I know BOTW will exist in the future, so an investment in advertising or listing a site is well worth it, and with their fast turnaround times for approval or rejection of submissions, I know that my investment gives me more or less peace of mind as well – unlike the DMOZ black hole that many good sites fall into.
The BOTW team is always trying new things and innovating, which is cool to see too. They took the initiative of confronting PagesJaunes.com and Google Addresses with Local BOTW and now they are entering the online education channel with the BOTW online degree directory. If a company like this gets aggressive to compete in two of the most competitive spaces on the web; local and education, that tells me they know their stuff and they get the deal.
Take the time to check out BOTW and find a relevant category to caption your site (if it’s not already listed) or become an editor in their blog directory.